(CNN) - Only about 15 percent of the gubernatorial ballots remain uncounted in Minnesota and as the final five counties complete their re-counts, the November 2 winner appears headed for a December victory as well.
Democrat Mark Dayton has gained 17 votes over his November 2 total; Republican Tom Emmer has gained 14 votes. Dayton's 8,751 vote pre-recount lead over Emmer has been upheld through three days of hand recounts.
Although Emmer had held a lead through the first two days of the recount, Dayton took a more than 7,000 vote lead after many of the larger, more Democratic counties submitted their vote counts on Wednesday.
Keeping with the pace of the previous two days, Emmer's campaign challenged 82 votes on Wednesday, while Dayton's campaign challenged 20. The total number of challenged votes represent such a marginal percentage of the total votes that they likely will not have an impact on the outcome of the election.
The secretary of state's office on Thursday night will release a report detailing the number of frivolous challenges made by each campaign. Those challenged votes deemed frivolous by local election officials will not automatically be reviewed by the state canvassing board, but have separated from the unchallenged votes in case the board asks to review them.
The board will meet December 8-10 to determine the outcome of the election and will render its verdict on December 14.